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Tech Terms: Digital Marketing 101

Getting started with online marketing topics. 

If you’re looking for a refresher on digital marketing, you’ve come to the right place. Or if you’re newly responsible for your company’s online marketing and advertising, which often comes people’s way, you’ll get a quick tune-up from this list of tech terms.

Scan through this list to find the terms not yet in your mental Rolodex. You’re bound to come across conversations highlighting this digital terminology, both online and in meetings. With this list, you’ll be up to speed in no time so you can speak like a pro.

API: Application Program Interface

A set of commands, protocols and functions for building software applications. The API specifies how software components should interact without programmers having to write them from scratch.


“The cloud” and “cloud storage” are ways to describe data that is stored online by a third party as opposed to on your physical computer or device. Cloud storage should be secure and accessible from anywhere where there is an Internet connection. Despite the name, cloud storage does not mean your information is floating in the sky. It is held at these data centres in secure facilities all over the world. People and organizations buy or lease storage capacity from the providers.

CMS: Content Management Systems

A software management tool used to edit and format content, which includes a web-based publishing feature. Content management systems do not require the use of web coding language, like HTML.

Content Marketing



As delicious as it sounds, web cookies have no taste. Cookies are arbitrary pieces of data, usually chosen by the web server, and stored on the client computer by the browser. Small text files (up to 4KB) given to a web browser by a web server. The information is sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. Their purpose is to identify users and prepare customized web pages for them.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company’s interaction with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service and technical support. CRM tools are essentially digital database software applications to help you keep all your data organized.

Dynamic Web Content

Web material produced in real time, such as blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates. The point of dynamic content is to be fresh, well-thought out and compelling enough to drive customer awareness.

E-commerce (electronic commerce)

Business conducted by transferring funds, goods, services and data electronically over the Internet. This is done through applications such as e-mail, instant messaging, shopping carts, web services, UDDI, FTP, and EDI, among others.

     Read Related: Tech terms for the retail industry         

Email Marketing

The promotion of products and services via email. It usually involves using email to send newsletters linking to marketing & sales content, ads, request business and solicit sales or donations. Email marketing is meant to build loyalty, trust or brand awareness.

FTP: The File Transfer Program

The protocol for exchanging files over the Internet from a server to a user’s browser. This is often used to transfer large files that are too big for sending via email. You’ll notice a lot of vendors may use FTPs to securely transfer these large files to you, especially when you’re reviewing large graphic files.

Hosting Server

A service dedicated to hosting a company’s information including its website, email, data, etc. Hosting servers that are dedicated to a single client are referred to as a dedicated server. Dedicated servers are common for larger websites where the hosting needs of the website owned require more control or bandwidth.

HTML: HyperText Markup Language

The authoring language used to create and format the layout of documents on the World Wide Web. “Hypertext” refers to the hyperlinks that an HTML page may contain. “Markup language” refers to the way tags are used to define the page layout and elements within the page.

HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol

The set of rules for transferring files (text, graphic images, sound, video and other multimedia files) over the web. It defines commands and services used for transmitting web page data.

IP Address: Internet Protocol Address

The unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifies a particular computer or device on a network. IP addresses use the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.

ISP: Internet Service Provider

Refers to a company that provides Internet services, including personal and business access to the Internet.


Short for malicious software, malware refers to software designed specifically to damage or disrupt a computer system. Common examples of malware include virus, spyware and Trojan horses.


The practice of frequently posting brief and often frequent text updates using a social networking site such a Twitter or Facebook.

Mobile Application Development

The process by which application software is developed for handheld devices, such as smartphones or tablets. You’ll often hear of “mobile-first” strategies, meaning that you are considering how your website or digital marketing assets will appear on mobile devices first and foremost, as opposed to desktop computers or laptops.


A network is a group of two or more computer systems linked together.

QR Codes

Quick Response (QR) codes are machine-readable code made up of black and white squares that reveal URLs, images and other information when scanned by a smartphone camera. Using a QR code reading app on your smartphone or tablet, you can easily hover the camera over a QR code and it will navigate your device browser to the intended web page.

SaaS: Software as a Service

A software delivery method that can be installed over the Internet rather than on a computer, which provides access to software. Learn more about SaaS here.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Strategies, techniques and tactics that are used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page

The web page that a search engine returns containing the results of your search. The major search engines typically display three kinds of listings on their SERPs; listings that have been indexed by the search engine’s spider, listings that have been indexed into the search engine’s directory by a human, and listings that are paid to be listed by the search engine.

Static Web Content

Web business content that remains more or less the same, such as the main pages on a site, contact information and “About Us” links.

UDDI: Universal Description, Discovery and Integration

A web-based distributed directory that enables businesses to list themselves on the Internet and is used to promote, use and share services.

Web Host

A web host provides server space, web services and file maintenance for websites controlled by individuals or companies that do not have their own web servers.

Virtual VPN/Virtual Networking

Virtual networking is a technology that facilitates the control of one or more remotely located computers or servers over the Internet. Data can be stored and retrieved, software can be run and peripherals can be operated through a web browser as if the hardware were onsite. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it.

Are you craving more tech terms? Check out the list of digital transformation topics.

The Editors

The Editorial Team develops articles, company profiles and resources for the Business Hub to bring IT, tech and innovation stories to the Manitoba business community.

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